See Your World, Your Way with Moon Travel Guides!
With golden shores and reefs teeming with beauty, Maui epitomizes the magic of Hawaii. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the island with Moon Maui.
- Strategic itineraries showcase the best of Maui in an easy-to-navigate format for honeymoons, outdoor adventures, and family vacations
- Curated advice from local author and trailblazer Kyle Ellison, who offers his adventurous, eco-friendly perspective on his home island. Moon Maui is the guide most recommended by locals.
- Full-color with vibrant, helpful photos
- Detailed maps and directions for exploring on your own
- Activities and ideas for every traveler: Snorkel with sea turtles, catch the perfect wave, or go whale-watching. Travel the Road to Hana, or hike and bike through miles of verdant trails. Unwind at a spa, or spend a relaxing day fishing. Visit the island's remarkable historic sites, or attend a traditional luau and sample Polynesian cuisine
- In-depth coverage of Lahaina and West Maui, Central Maui, Kihei and South Maui, Haleakala and Upcountry, East Maui, as well as the nearby islands of Lana'i and Moloka'i
- Current background information on the landscape, culture, and neighborhood history
- Essential insight for travelers on safety, recreation, transportation, and accommodations, as well as suggestions on LGBT+ travel and eco-tourism, all in a book light enough for your beach bag
Interested in island hopping? Check out Moon Big Island of Hawai'i, Moon Kaua'i, and Moon Honolulu & O'ahu. Visiting all them? Check out Moon Hawaii.
About the Author
Kyle Ellison began researching the island of Maui when he first moved there at the tender age of five. Back then, the island still had three sugar mills, Wailea didn't exist, and early mornings were punctuated by the sound of bombs falling on Kaho'olawe. The island has changed considerably since then, but Kyle's love of Maui has remained.
A Maui resident, surfer, and diver, Kyle has led groups of divers as a divemaster at Molokini, led scuba tours on the island of Lana'i, hosted hundreds of hikers on Maui, and proposed to his wife off the island of Moloka'i while diving with hammerhead sharks. Kyle's son can usually be found splashing in the water at Baldwin Beach.
As a freelance writer, Kyle's work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Travel + Leisure, Maui No Ka 'Oi, Ka'anapali Magazine, AOL Travel, Escape, Journey Viator, Gadling, Afar, and the Huffington Post, and on the Travel Channel. His travels have taken him to 65 countries and 49 U.S. states. He also helped found a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships for students in Cambodia.
For more info on Kyle and his travels, visit him at kylethevagabond.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kylethevagabond.
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from "Planning Your Trip"
Where to Go
West Maui pulses with a unique coastal vibe. The historic town of Lahaina was once the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom, and it retains a port town atmosphere. Warm weather and mostly dry conditions make this region a spectacular place for outdoor adventure. Snorkel with sea turtles at Napili Bay, lounge on the beach in Kapalua, ride the zipline above Ka‘anapali, or hike to Nakalele Blowhole.
Central Maui is the island’s population center and the seat of county government. Most visitors blow through town en route to their beachfront resort, but Central Maui has its own set of sights off the regularly worn trail. The twisting road into ‘Iao Valley is the region’s most popular attraction. Kepaniwai Heritage Garden exhibits Maui’s multicultural heritage, and down on the shoreline at Kanaha Beach Park, windsurfers and kitesurfers take to the waves along the stretch of Maui’s north shore.
From the celebrity-laden resorts of Wailea to the condo-dwelling snowbirds of Kihei, South Maui is all about worshipping the sun and enjoying the procession of beaches. Makena remains South Maui’s most adventurous venue with snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking trails, kayaking, and some of the island’s most photo-worthy beaches. Just offshore, Molokini Crater offers 100-foot visibility and the chance to snorkel with up to 250 species of fish.
Rural, laid-back, and refreshingly cool, Upcountry is Maui’s most underrated zone. Agriculture and produce dominate Kula, and everything from vegetables to vineyards, coffee, and goat cheese can be found in this rural and relaxing enclave. Polipoli is the island’s little-known adventure zone, where mountain biking, paragliding, and hiking take place in a forest shrouded in mist. Watch the dramatic sunrise from the frosty peak of towering Haleakala, the sacred volcano from which the demigod Maui famously snared the sun.
East Maui: the Road to Hana:
The New Age town of Pa‘ia is as trendy as it is jovial. Surfers ride waves along undeveloped beaches, patrons shop in locally owned boutiques, and the town is home to some the island’s best restaurants. Along the famous, twisting Road to Hana, tumbling waterfalls and rugged hiking trails await. The Pools of ‘Ohe‘o spill down cliffs to the sea. The hike through a bamboo forest to the base of Waimoku Falls is considered the island’s best trek.
Home to 3,300 residents and two large resorts, this island is a playground of outdoor adventure. Whether you are staying here or making a day trip from Maui, everything from hiking to scuba diving, golfing, and surfing can be enjoyed readily without the crowds. Learn about the island’s history at the Lana‘i Culture and Heritage Center, and make the journey down to Kaunolu to see an ancient village settlement essentially frozen in time.
Taking time to explore this island offers a chance to experience the roots of native Hawaiian culture. Take a guided tour into historic Halawa Valley, one of the oldest settlements in Hawai‘i, or ride on the back of a friendly mule as you visit the former leper colony of Kalaupapa. Watch the sunset from Papohaku Beach, one of the state’s longest most deserted stretches of sand, or climb your way high into the mists of the Moloka‘i Forest Reserve.
When to Go
Maui isn’t postcard-perfect every day of the year. It might not have four distinct seasons, but it definitely has twosummer and winter. During the summer (May-October), areas such as Kapalua, Kahului, North Kihei, and Ka‘anapali are prone to trade winds which blow most afternoons. While Hana and Kapalua can see rain during the summer, Lahaina and Kihei can go six straight months without a single drop.
During the winter (November-April), there can be plenty of rain. A winter day on Maui can mean light breezes, sunny skies, and a high of 78°, but it can also mean cloudy skies and rain. Experienced surfers will have the best chance of finding big surf in winter.
The best, most affordable times to travel to Maui are January 15-30, April 15-June 5, and September 15-December 15. Airfare is cheaper, occupancy rates are lower, and many activities are discounted. The two busiest weeks of the year are over Christmas and New Year’s, and the two slowest weeks are the first two in December. Whale season runs December 15-May 15, with peak whalewatching January 15-March 30. Visiting Maui during May and September gives you the benefit of summer weather with lower prices and fewer crowds.